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Information Management and Related Quality Assurance for a Large Scale, Multi-Site Research Project

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Abstract:During the summer of 2000, as part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study designed to improve microbial water quality monitoring protocols at public beaches, over 11,000 water samples were collected at five selected beaches across the country. At each beach, samples were collected at least twice daily according to one or four sampling schemes. Samples were delivered to near-by laboratories and analyzed the same day for either E. coli or Enterococcus by established microbiological methods. Locational data, data describing ambient conditions at the beaches, and other supporting environmental data were also collected. The staff at each of the five study sites reported their data daily to a central location.

The collective effort generated close to a half-million data points during the months of July and August. Managing the steady and complex flow of informatiton and assuring the quality required a well planned, well-organized, and innovative approach. This approach included:

. standardized paper and electronic data entry forms,
. centrally-provided waterproof sample labels with pre-printed sample identifiers,
. independent, double entry of data with automated comparison,
. adherence to basic relational database rules, and careful attention to good data structure design, and data management.

This presentation will report in detail the data management approach, explain the reasoning behind the approach, and explain how it was integrated with the QA Project Plan. The speaker will describe procedures used to assess data quality in both the electornic forms completed at the sampling locations and the central database. The speaker will analyze the costs and benefits associated with the chosen approach, and will evaluate its success. Future plans (long-term archival, public availability, etc.) for the data will be described.
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Citation:Martinson, J., D. Lewis, K. Brenner, L. Wymer, and S. Brown. Information Management and Related Quality Assurance for a Large Scale, Multi-Site Research Project. Presented at The U.S. EPA 20th Annual Conference on Managing Environmental Quality Systems: Quality Management Solutions for Today's Environmental Challenges, New Orleans, LA, April 14-17, 2003.
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Contact: Mary P. O'Bryant - (919)-541-4871 or obriant.mary@epa.gov
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Division: Microbiological & Chemical Exposure Assessment Division
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Branch: Program Operations Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 04/14/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Bathing Beach Monitoring Protocols/Communicating Swimming Activity Risk to the Public
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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